The kitten you took in has grown up. Your favorite hairball is getting old and you find it moving a lot less than it used to be, so you are rightfully concerned about its health.
Be aware that your old tomcat has a growing need for sleep with age and it is absolutely not a concern that he or she sleeps 16 to 20 hours a day. On the other hand, helping him to move to maintain regular physical activity is important.
We give you 5 surefire ways to awaken your senior cat’s instincts.
Method number 1: play with food
“Stop playing with food”: were you tired of hearing this phrase over and over from adults when you were a child? It’s time to take your revenge by getting your feline to move!
The cat is above all a carnivorous animal. In the wild, it mainly feeds on small animals, such as a mouse, a vole, a shrew, a bird, an amphibian or a fish.
Of course, this is not about giving him live prey, but knowing which protein source he prefers. Provide him with several bowls with fresh produce, such as chicken, salmon and beef. Chances are he loves it.
After a few hours or days, you’ll know what appeals to your old cat the most, and he may even like all the meats on offer. So, to make him move and vary his taste pleasures, appeal to his gluttony.
You can slip his “rewards” onto an educational game board or into a candy dispenser ball. He will quickly get used to this ritual and will wait impatiently for this moment of the day, guaranteed success to lick his chops!
Method number 2: create a meal course
Clearly, your cat is greedy and we will take the opportunity to create a meal course for him to encourage him to move as much as possible during the day. Your cat needs their daily ration of kibble, but you could challenge them and play Petit Poucet.
Instead of centralizing its food in the same place, you can gradually change its habits and distribute its kibble in strategic places in your home, while taking its possibilities into account.
Take several small containers in which you put some kibble. All the quantities offered must naturally cover their daily needs, neither too little nor too little. Distribute these containers wherever you want in your house or apartment.
To create a ritual and facilitate the maintenance of your interior, always have your mini bowls in the same place, as long as the locations remain accessible to your cat 24 hours a day. Your cat will know very quickly where to find his food.
Obviously take into account his age, vitality and possible osteoarthritis problems. If your cat is full of vigor and still jumps without difficulty, place kibbles high up. Otherwise, the ground or small low platforms will suffice.
Method number 3: awaken your hunting instinct
Cats are first and foremost predators, able to observe prey for hours on end before soaring and leaping at blazing speed. Your cat may not be able to perform all of the acrobatics as he gets older, but awakening his hunting instinct will help Grisou get his feet wet.
It is essential to create a bond with your companion by establishing moments of play. But beware, your kitty can be temperamental and have his preferences, so it will take time and attention to find his favorite toy. Do not be discouraged and you will be pleasantly surprised.
First of all, before spending a fortune, do it with the means at hand. A ping-pong ball, a cork, an old sock filled with catnip, or crumpled aluminum foil can do the trick and make your cat completely addicted.
Commercial or homemade, “fishing rods” or duster sticks are often the joy of our tomcats and promote exchange with their favorite human. So, do not hesitate to share moments of complicit play with your elderly cat.
Method number 4: fall for a cat tree
If you don’t have a cat tree in your home yet, it’s time to build one if you’re a DIYer or buy one from a pet store to give your mustached friend a little gymnastics.
To encourage him to climb the ranks and gain access to the upper platforms, you can place a few treats in the niches located high up or have catnip if he likes it. At the top of the cat tree, try to arrange his favorite blanket.
If your kitty is decidedly too old for this type of exercise requiring agility and relaxation, you can simply think about moving some furniture to facilitate his daily life while forcing him to move to nestle on his observation post.
Indeed, cats often have a privileged place that they particularly like to rest while feeling safe. Observe him, you will quickly spot his favorite places. It can be a sofa, radiator, bed or even a bookshelf.
Install platforms for easy access using cardboard boxes, wooden crates, ottomans or any other item. You are sure to make him happy while forcing him to move, casually.
Finally, a scratching post will also be appreciated by your cat to mark his presence on his territory, and incidentally allow him to do some stretching. In addition, this essential will (perhaps) spare your sofa. So do not hesitate!
Method number 5: cuddle
Your cat is feeling old and is tired. It may be that despite your best efforts, at the end of his life, he just doesn’t feel like playing anymore and is content to move a little. It is necessary to accept it, because you cannot go against nature.
Now is the time to give him all your affection so that he feels loved and cared for: he just needs you. And you need him. So, the best way to extend your life under the best possible conditions is undoubtedly to show him the unconditional love you have for him.
What if the happiness of your elderly cat only depended on a few purrs and shared caresses under a soft blanket?